Central Park Zoo, New York
4 reviews from the community
Review of "Central Park Zoo, New York"
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Although New York has many zoos I only managed to visit the Central Park Zoo while I was on holiday there. I really wish I could have gone to the other zoos but I was 6 months pregnant and they were just too big to walk around.
Central Park Zoo is located exactly where you think it is, in Central Park. The zoo is really easy to find, unlike some other parts of the park. and it is on the East Side at 64th Street & 5th Avenue. There is no parking at the zoo so the easiest way to get there is by subway, with options as follows:N, R, or Q trains to the Fifth Avenue/59th Street station in Manhattan, and walk north four blocks to 64th Street.
Lexington Avenue #6 train to the 68th Street/Hunter College station, walk west 3 blocks to Fifth Avenue, then take a left and walk four blocks south.I chose to go from Fifth Avenue/ 59th Street and walked north and I'm really glad I did. This way you get a really great view of the park from the edge before you get to the zoo.
= Prices ==
Tickets are available to purchase in advance online or you can buy when you get there.
$16.20 online/ $18 & gate
$11.70 online/ $13 at gate
$13.50 online/ $15 at gate
2 & under
The main zoo
Central Park Zoo is pretty small and you can see this quickly from the map you're given after buying your ticket.
As you enter the zoo you have the Dancing Crane Cafe right in front of you along with an educational strip and the toilets. Close by is the gift shop. I found it a bit strange for these things to be at the beginning of the zoo because I figured it would make more sense for the cafe to at least be half way round.Following the path round the zoo you first come to the Tropic Zone, then the Temperate Territory, followed by grizzly bears and then the penguins and other sea birds. In the middle of the zoo there is the sea lions. This is pretty much it. The range of animals to see is so small and extremely disappointing. This part of the zoo only took about 45 minutes to walk around. To start with, I thought the entrance fee was reasonable but once I realised how quickly we would get around, I was not very happy.
With this being a really small zoo you do need to prepare yourself for the size of the enclosures. I was actually pretty horrified and it made me want to leave the zoo. I have seen the penguin enclosure in films and I thought it looked great. It's awful. The penguins are housed inside, instead of outside where they should be. The enclosure had a few rocks for them to climb on etc. but it was very narrow and cramped. The enclosure actually had a picture on the background to make it seem like it was a better place for them. I couldn't believe it really.It's safe to say I was very disappointed and saddened by the main zoo. The small enclosures and lack of variety was not worth paying for.
The Central Park Zoo also has a children's zoo just across the road from the main zoo and entrance is included with your regular ticket. This was actually my favourite part of our visit. The children's zoo has loads for kids to do! As you walk around the path there are loads of different photo opportunities such as hiding in a tortoise shell or looking like a rabbit. The children's zoo has goats, sheep, a cow and pot bellied pigs and you can feed them between 10am and 2pm every day. My husband and I had loads of fun here although I couldn't feed the animals with being pregnant.
My husband and I were pretty hungry when we arrived at the zoo so we did eat before looking around. I know I said the cafe was in a strange location but it did work for us at the time. The cafe serves food exactly like you'd expect it to with things like cheese or pepperoni pizzas, chicken fingers or burgers and fries. I found the prices to actually be reasonable with pizza, fries and a drink costing $9.99 and the same but with chicken fingers costing $10.99. The food was actually really nice and this was one of our favourite 'quick and easy' meals while we were in New York.
If you don't want something fried though there are a few other options available in the fridges such as sandwiches and salads.I was served very quickly and although there was a few pizzas already there and ready, the staff made me a fresh one as they'd been sitting there a while. I was quite amazed that they did this. The cafe was also immaculately clean. Each table was spotless and there were several members of staff cleaning as people were finished eating although it didn't look like they were being intrusive either. The cafe has both indoor and outdoor seating so somewhere to sit whatever the weather.
As you can probably tell, I enjoyed our food in the cafe more than the visit to the zoo and seeing the animals. For the entrance fee this zoo is just not worth it and I don't think the animals have got nearly enough room. If I was to go back to New York, I wouldn't be going here again!
Product Information : Central Park Zoo, New York
Manufacturer's product description
Listed on Ciao since: 29/08/2009